Ranking the Fastest NFL Players

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BetMGM Sep 21, 2021, 3:24 PM

The NFL has historically served as home to some of the fastest athletes of all time. Current players like Raheem Mostert, John Ross III, and Kenyan Drake have clocked times that could hold up as some of the fastest in league history. That poses the question, who is the fastest player in the NFL right now?

For the sake of this analysis, we will use official 40-yard times and NFL Next Gen Stats of ball carrier runs for this 2020 season. This gives us a good idea given two completely different scenarios since the 40-yard time is vastly different than the in-game competition with your football betting on the line.

The NFL began clocking times electronically in 1999. Before that, the NFL used manual timing for all Combine records, and the argument for the fastest player leaves room for plenty of human error. It is reported that Bo Jackson ran his 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.13 seconds in 1986, making him the fastest of all-time. The question of the validity of that number is up for debate.

The NFL now provides specific speeds on different in-game play types with their Next Gen Stats. This information can help us understand the players who have clocked in at top speeds during games, but players who haven’t gotten a lot of tick? That’s when we turn to NFL Combine and Pro Day 40-yard dash numbers.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Raheem Mostert is the fastest player (with the ball in his hands) of this 2020 season with an 80- and a 76-yard touchdown, clocking in at a top speed of 23.09 and 22.73 mph respectively in Weeks 1 and 2.

Fastest 40-Yard Combines Times of Active Players

Based on electronically clocked numbers, John Ross holds the No.1 spot for all-time and active players. His 4.22 40-yard dash was set in 2017. The Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III came close when he notched a 4.27 40 in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the fastest 40-yard dash times for current NFL players to aid in your overall league knowledge in football lines. All of these times were officially recorded at the NFL Combine or Pro Day.

Player Drafted Team Combine Time (40-Yard) Year
1. John Ross Bengals 4.22 2017
T-2. Marquise Goodwin Eagles 4.27 2019
T-2. Henry Ruggs III Raiders 4.27 2020
T-4. Tyreek Hill Chiefs 4.29 (Pro Day) 2016
T-4. Javelin Guidry Jets 4.29 2020
T-6. Curtis Samuel Panthers 4.31 2017
T-6. Andy Isabella Cardinals 4.31 2019
T-6. Parris Campbell Colts 4.31 2019
T-9. Will Fuller V Texans 4.32 2018
T-9. Raheem Mostert 49ers 4.32 2015

Fastest Players & Plays of 2020

All times are based on ball carriers and clocked on NFL Next Gen Stats for the 2020 season and each players’ official NFL Combine 40-yard dash time for the sake of comparison. Keep in mind these times are when players had the ball in their hands.

Player Team Speed (mph) Play Date Combine Time (40-Yard)
1. Raheem Mostert 49ers 23.09 80-yard rush. TD Week 2 4.34/18.85 mph
2. Raheem Mostert 49ers 22.73 76-yard rec. TD Week 1 4.34/18.85 mph
3. Kenyan Drake Cardinals 22.11 69-yard rush. TD Week 6 4.45/18.38 mph
4. Tyreek Hill Chiefs 21.91 44-yard rec. TD Week 14 4.29/19.07 mph (Pro Day)
5. Nyheim Hines Colts 21.85 19-yard kickoff ret. Week 13 4.38/18.68 mph
6. Trevon Diggs Cowboys 21.72 0-yard int. Week 8 N/A
7. Michael Davis Chargers 21.69 78-yard int. TD Week 4 4.54/18.02 mph
8. DK Metcalf Seahawks 21.66 6-yard reception Week 7 4.33/18.89 mph
9. Derrick Henry Titans 21.62 94-yard rush. TD Week 6 4.54/18.02 mph
10. Jonathan Taylor Colts 21.60 13-yard rec. TD Week 13 4.39/18.64 mph

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.